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Burtonsville Dentist Gives Back

Dr. Aaron Nichols' 20th mission trip

Burtonsville Dentist Gives Back | Dr. Aaron Nicholas

Dr. Aaron Nicholas has just returned from another Dominican Republic mission trip. The trip was started by a Dental school instructor of Dr. Nicholas in 1983. The goal was to perform general, restorative and cosmetic dentistry to anyone who needed it.

Dr. Nicholas began his dental mission work in 1986 and 1987 as a student.  After graduating dental school, he had my hands full with a new dental practice so took a ten year hiatus. However, since 1997, he has dedicated time to an annual mission trip almost every year.
2016 marked his 20th trip to the Dominican Republic. 
 We asked Dr. Nicholas to share a little bit about his most recent trip, here is what he said: 
Typically, we fly into Santo Domingo and then drive 2 hours north to San Jose de Ocoa.  From there each morning we load up the trucks full of dental supplies and dentists and drive another hour or so into the mountains to provide dental care where there is none.
This year we visited El Pinar, La Horma, La China, and Arriba Abajo among other isolated areas.
Our mission was to provide dental services include tooth extractions, fillings, full and partial dentures. We hand out lots of toothbrushes and instruct people on proper dental hygiene.This year the project provided dental services totaling $511,00.00 in USD value. 
dental mission trip burtonsville dentist

Why is it important for dentists to give back?

For Dr. Nicholas, it is gratifying to see the dental health of these villages improve. He sees the same gratification when working with his own patients. The mission trips just amplify his passion for dentistry. Since they are typically taking dental students on these trips it is exciting to see them gain skill and confidence working to help others. The trip also requires the help of local Dominicans. Having locals involved in the project makes it so much more rewarding as they participate in helping their own countrymen. This is a value Dr. Nicholas takes back to his own practice each time he returns from a trip.
This particular project was nationally recognized with a presidential award in 1991 and 2001.  Additionally, in 2015 the American Dental Association awarded the director of the Project the Humanitarian of the Year Award for 2015.
dental mission trip

When Is Tooth Extraction Your Best Option?

tooth extractionInstances Where Tooth Extraction Is Your Best Option

Advances in the field of dentistry have allowed dental professionals to help their patients keep their teeth and avoid tooth extraction.

However, there are instances wherein having a tooth extracted is the better option to take. One such instance is if the patient needs orthodontia which is sometimes necessary when the teeth are crowded. The only possible way to make room for the other teeth is through extraction.

If a tooth has been severely decayed or if its damage extends to the center of the tooth (pulp), your dentist may recommend having the tooth pulled out if other treatments like root canal therapy cannot solve the problem, and if the risk of infection is high.

Some patients may need to have their teeth extracted prior to undergoing chemotherapy or an organ transplant. These treatments are deemed to be delicate and the possibility of an infection must be avoided at all costs.

Finally, if your teeth have loosened up due to periodontal or gum disease, your Silver Spring dentist may recommend an extraction.


What happens during an extraction and who can perform this procedure?

Extractions may be performed by dentists and oral surgeons. Before actually pulling out a tooth (or teeth), a local anesthetic is applied to the area where the tooth to be extracted is located. The anesthetic will numb that area. If you are having more than one tooth pulled or if the tooth to be extracted is impacted, your dentist may use a general anesthetic that will help prevent you from feeling any pain throughout your body.

An oral surgery is performed when a tooth is impacted. Here, the dentist will need to make an incision on the gum and bone tissue before using forceps to loosen the tooth from the supporting structures holding it in its place. There are instances in which it is difficult to pull the tooth in one piece and that tooth needs to be removed in smaller pieces.

After the tooth has been successfully pulled out, it is normal for blood clots to form. In order to stop the bleeding, you will be asked to bite down on a gauze pad packed into the socket. In some instances, your dentist will use self-dissolving stitches to close the extraction site.

Recovery from a tooth extraction will take just a few days. In order to prevent infection, facilitate faster recovery and prevent or minimize discomfort, your Burtonsville dentist will give you detailed instructions about what to do and what not do while recovering.

If you think you might need a tooth extraction, contact your Silver Spring dentist for more information and to set up an appointment today!

Time to Call the Dentist for a Toothache?

When should I see a dentist for a toothache?

When do I need to call a Dentist for a toothache?

At one point or another, you might have experienced a toothache and the hassles associated with it. Sometimes it’s so painful you may have difficulty in concentrating at work, experience sleepless nights, and overall experience general discomfort.

One of the most common questions a Silver Spring Dentist gets asked is when is it necessary to call dentist for a toothache. The short answer is, as soon as possible. Now here’s the long answer.

A toothache is rarely just that — a toothache. More often than not, that excruciating pain in your mouth is a symptom of a larger problem. We know, it’s easy to hope that by ignoring the problem it might go away. But when it comes to your teeth and gums, the longer you let a toothache go, the more damage could be occurring in your mouth. 

Toothaches may be caused by a variety of reasons. If you have tooth decay or cavities you have been ignoring, you are bound to suffer from a toothache because the bacteria in your mouth can  get into the innermost structure of the affected tooth.

Gum disease is another common culprit for toothaches. When your gums are inflamed and deep pockets develop, the bacteria in your mouth can be trapped in these pockets. If you fail to seek professional help at the earliest time possible, you can experience a major toothache.

Teeth that have been cracked due to injuries or traumas are one of the more obvious causes of tooth pain and whether the tooth is visible when you smile or not, it’s important to have your dentist take a look at the damage. Wisdom teeth are one of the more common causes of pain in pre-teens and young adults. If the wisdom tooth becomes impacted this will be an unavoidable pain you will want addressed right away. 

If there is one compelling reason that you should call your dentist and book an appointment, that would be a tooth infection or abscess tooth. An infection often occurs when a dental problem is ignored and left untreated for a long period of time. Other conditions that may cause toothaches include temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ.

Dental patients should be aware that a severe tooth infection can be fatal when ignored and left untreated. Because of the proximity of the mouth to the brain, the infection can wind its way up to the brain. If you experience toothache coupled with swelling and fever, do not hesitate to visit your Silver Spring dentist as soont as possible.

How are toothaches treated?

That will depend largely on the underlying cause of the toothache. For example, if you have cavities, your dentist will recommend dental fillings. Gum disease is treated with deep cleaning. If you have an abscessed tooth, your dentist will prescribe an antibiotic to cure the infection before proceeding with actual dental work.

If you experience a toothache, do not ignore it and do not hesitate to call and visit your Nicholas Dental Care as soon as possible. Prompt action can prevent the underlying cause of your pain from worsening.

A Laurel, MD Dentist Shares Oral Surgery Aftercare Tips

post oral surgery care

Laurel, MD Dentist, Dr. Aaron Nicholas Shares Essential Tips for Oral Surgery Aftercare.

There’s a diverse variety of reasons why oral surgery is performed, but one thing’s for certain; proper aftercare is a must to ensure speedy recovery from the procedure, as well as to prevent excessive discomfort and other potential complications.

When it comes to oral surgery aftercare, a trusted Laurel, MD dentist will tell you it’s all about carefully following instructions. Because this is such an important topic we have rounded up a list of some essential tips for oral surgery aftercare.

  1. Use the pain relievers prescribed by the dentist to help you deal with tenderness, sensitivity and pain after the surgery. Always let your Dentist know if you are sensitive to pain relievers so he or she can suggest the right dose.
  2. If prescribed antibiotics to prevent or treat infection, take them as instructed by the dentist. Even if you are feeling fine, continue to take them until your prescription ends. 
  3. Take time off from work and just take things easy as needed. You don’t want to overexert yourself and cause the blood to pump hard, which can induce bleeding. Rest as much as you can – lie down and keep your head supported by pillows to reduce swelling and prevent bleeding.
  4. To further reduce swelling and to numb pain, do apply ice packs to your face for 15 minutes on and then 15 minutes off.
  5. Eat soft foods so as not to disturb the treated area. Soups, yogurts, smoothies, mashed potatoes and pureed veggies should be your diet for the time being. It may be a simple diet, but the good news is that you can eat soft ice cream.
  6. After surgery, it’ll be hard to clean your mouth; the only thing you can do for the first 24 hours is to carefully rinse with chlorhexidine about four times a day or after eating. Very gently swish the solution around, especially around the surgical area to remove food particles. If you run out of chlorhexidine, you can rinse with warm salt water instead (one teaspoon of salt for a glass of warm water).
  7. Once you get the go signal from your dentist to move on from your soft/liquid diet, make sure that you eat nutritious foods that can contribute to faster recovery from oral surgery. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals will not only promote faster cell regeneration, but they can boost your immune system as well.
  8. Do take vitamin C supplements. Loading up on vitamin C will promote faster healing of the surgical wound.
  9. Do get in touch with your dentist right away if the dressing on the treated area comes off, or if you experience excessive bleeding, swelling, fever or allergic reaction to medication, as well as persistent pains even after taking medication.

We hope your oral surgery is successful with a quick recovery. Should you need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nicholas for tooth extraction or a root canal and you live in Burtonsville, Silver Spring or Laurel MD, Nicholas Dental Care is happy to help!

How is Tooth Reshaping and Contouring Done?

How is Tooth Reshaping and Contouring Done?

A person’s front teeth are the most visible when speaking or flashing a smile. Since they are the most prominent, people often take great care to maintain the attractive appearance and good condition of their front teeth.

There are, unfortunately, some cases and tooth defects that could negatively affect the appearance of your front teeth. You may be born with poorly aligned or shaped teeth, for example. It’s also possible that you’ve had great-looking teeth since childhood, but ever since you developed habits such as chewing on the tips of pens and pencils, using teeth to rip open a bag of chips, eating hard foods, and chewing on fingernails when feeling bored or anxious, your teeth have become chipped or uneven. Or maybe you were involved in an accident or suffered an injury which resulted in broken or chipped teeth.

There’s no need to live with the appearance of uneven or chipped teeth. A damaged smile can prevent you from displaying your inner confidence. One of the best solutions you can consider is to pay a visit to your trusted Silver Spring Dentist who is experienced in performing tooth reshaping and contouring procedures that will improve the overall appearance of your front teeth.

So, What is tooth reshaping and contouring?

Reshaping or contouring teeth pertains to the process of removing a tooth’s enamel using a drill or laser. After taking dental x-rays your dentist will be able to determine the amount and location of the pulp inside the tooth. The dentist will proceed to shave the areas of the tooth that are either to long or misshapen. Once done, the affected tooth is then smoothed and polished for a natural appearance.

It doesn’t take long to reshape or contour teeth; typically, the procedure can be completed in a single appointment, in about half an hour.

An additional solution

Reshaping is often done in combination with bonding. Bonding is the process of filling in gaps and chips in teeth, enhancing the tooth’s color, and creating an even more ideal and pronounced shape for the tooth.

The dentist will first etch the surface of the affected tooth so that the bonding material will effectively adhere to it. To prevent tooth sensitivity, your dentist will likely numb the tooth area before beginning the etching.

Your dentist will then apply a putty-like resin to the treatment area and allow the material to harden. Next, color is applied to the resin in order to match the reshaped tooth’s color with that of the surrounding natural teeth. Once done, a light will be used on the tooth to help the resin harden.

The whole bonding process can last anywhere between 30 minutes and half an hour, but if more than one tooth must be worked on, you may have a treatment schedule set up over a few appointments.

Tooth Bonding Aftercare 

After undergoing a tooth reshaping and bonding procedure, it’s important to maintain the newly improved shape and appearance of the affected tooth. The harmful habits mentioned above (chewing fingernails, eating hard foods, etc.) must be avoided to prevent chipping, and foods and beverages that could stain must also be left out of your diet to keep the teeth looking white. Sadly, wine and coffee are not part of the aftercare plan.

Among cosmetic dentistry treatments, tooth reshaping, contouring and bonding require the least amount of time, and yet the results are long-lasting and do much to improve your confidence and satisfaction with your smile. Talk to your Burtonsville, MD dentist today about exploring these procedures to enhance your own smile.

What Should You Look for in a Cosmetic Dentist?

What Should You Look for in a Cosmetic Dentist?

Thanks to advances in dental care technology, perfecting your smile has now become much safer, easier, faster, and more affordable. The technology advances in cosmetic dentistry have become more impressive than ever. If you invest in the services of a reputable dentist, no one will be able to tell the difference between natural teeth and a smile that has received improvements through cosmetic dentistry.

Despite the dental technology advancements, the final outcome of any cosmetic dental procedure still relies on the training, skills and experience of the dentist. Cosmetic dentistry is both an art and science – you’ll need a highly competent cosmetic dentist to handle your smile makeover.

So if you’re wondering, “What should I look for in a cosmetic dentist?” considering the following criteria and guidelines:

Positive Feedback from People You Trust

Ask for referrals from people in your network that have undergone cosmetic dental treatment. Your own general dentist will likely have a few recommendations for cosmetic dental professionals they trust. Online reviews published on websites like Health Grades and independent review sites like Yelp can also provide a good picture of what you can expect from cosmetic dentists in your area.

Beyond Basic Credentials

At the moment, there is no required license for a dentist to specialize in cosmetic dentistry. But you can still separate the good from the great based on the education, continued professional training, reputation, industry association memberships or accreditations they have received. Cosmetic dentistry is a dynamic field, and a dentist who has invested in his or her continuing education and skills with the latest studies in dental technology will be able to provide you the most responsible care and results.

Solid Proof of Quality Work

The only way to confirm recognition from peers, industry authorities and previous clients about your potential dentist is to see the actual results. You can do this by asking the clinic for before-and-after photos of their work. Most established clinics today also publish their portfolio on their websites; any leading Silver Spring Dentist will be happy to show you their body of work either through an online gallery or photo albums in their office. 

A Good Talk

The final, non-negotiable step to take before you make your decision and choose your cosmetic dentist is to pay the clinic a visit. Schedule a consultation with your Burtonsville Dentist so you can discuss your expectations. This is your chance to hear the recommendations of the dentist, check out the facilities, staff, and overall ambiance of the clinic. It may be helpful to prepare a list of questions you have in mind so you can effectively communicate your hopes (and fears, if any) and have them clarified before you proceed to the next steps.


Looking for a Dentist in Silver Spring?

dentist in silver springFinding a New Dentist in Silver Spring, MD

If you’re looking for a new dentist in Silver Spring, there are plenty of things you should take into account. It is important to ask yourself, “How do I go about finding a dentist near me?” Before you begin your search, we are here to help you come up with the criteria to make your search a little bit easier.

Finding a Dentist Who Can Work With Your Schedule 

There are elements that will determine which dentist is the best fit for your family. Location is one of them. It’s expected that you would prefer to go to a Silver Spring dentist who has an office near your home, work, or school. It’s easier to schedule an appointment with a dentist that is within a five mile radius of you. You may find it easier to choose a dentist that is near your work if you are a single person. You can schedule your appointment before work as soon as the office opens or on your way home from work if time permits. If you have dental appointments to schedule for your entire family, you may want to consider a Silver Spring, MD dental practice with multiple dental chairs available so you can schedule everyone in the same block of time. It really just depends on your scheduling needs.

Special Needs 

Another thing that may narrow down your choices right away are any special need you might have. For instance, if you or someone in your family has a fear of the dentist, addressing those concerns with the dental staff ahead of time will be important. Also, if you have kids, you might prefer to go to a pediatric dentist or licensed orthodontist.

Off the top of the head, the following are some other factors that may influence the initial part of your search: dental plan, languages spoken, office hours, as well as special office features. If you ask around or even just do some online research, you’re sure to find several possibilities in your area.

When finding a new dentist, you definitely need to call or visit the office to be sure you are comfortable. Once you have chosen a new Silver Spring, MD dentist it is time to get to know them. Below we cover some common dental patient concerns when choosing a new dentist.

What happens in the first dental exam?

Expect to have a conversation with your dentist about your oral and general health history. They will ask you other pertinent information such as medical conditions and medicines you may be taking. This is a great time to discuss any concerns you may be having about your teeth. During your dental examination, the dentist will perform a visual inspection of your teeth and gums. As a new patient, x-rays and a cleaning may also be part of your first visit. 

Can I review dental treatment options and costs before committing to the work?

The short answer is yes, absolutely. Dental treatment options can be tricky to discuss over the phone since the dentist will likely need to examine and diagnose the issue on their own regardless of what a previous dentist may have found. Give your new dentist some leeway here and be willing to come in for an exam to get a properly diagnosed treatment plan. Once the dental treatment plan has been identified, you will be able to negotiate a payment plan that works for your budget and insurance.

How does your local dentist office respond to patient emergencies before or after regular office hours?

Most dentists are ready to take on emergency dental cases outside office hours. Dental emergencies do happen and the right Silver Spring Dentist will have a plan for that. However, different dentists will define what they consider a dental emergency. Be sure that you understand what those terms are ahead of time so that you are prepared.

There might be other questions you want to ask your new dentist, such as credentials, longevity, and what they do to keep their dental skills updated. Make a list to ensure that you don’t forget anything. Pay attention to the demeanor of the person you talk to and how he or she made you feel during your exchange. We hope all these tips will help you choose the dentist that best suites your needs.

If you are searching for a dentist in Silver Spring, MD contact the professionals at Nicholas Dental Care!

Dental Veneers | A Cosmetic Dental Solution

Dental VeneersDental Veneers: A Cosmetic Dental Solution With Powerful Results

It is common for most people to have some type of dental imperfection. After all, it is pretty rare that anyone has straight, beautiful white teeth with no need for dental work. You may have slightly discolored teeth ranging from mild to moderate. Smoking or a wine drinking habit, can cause this or perhaps your daily dose of caffeine. Whether it is a self induced cosmetic dental problem or a genetic tooth decay, there are a solutions to your problem. .

None of these dental conditions warrant an emergency visit to a dentist for treatment, but they can significantly affect the person’s confidence and the way they carry themselves. A smile is often the first thing we notice when we meet someone new so it is understandable that you may be self conscious if you have an imperfect smile. Being self-conscious about how your teeth look will surely prevent you from comfortably flashing your smile or freely communicating and interacting with people who can see your teeth. At Nicholas Dental Care we are committed to helping you change those insecurities into strengths with the help of dental veneers.

Considering Dental Veneers 

The logical solution would be to approach your Silver Spring Dentist for a consultation. If you have been hesitant to do this, it is understandable. However, there in no pain in learning more about the dentist’s treatment recommended before committing to the service. You may be surprised to find out how easy and affordable veneers can be.

It’s important to understand, however, that not all dental treatment methods can be resolved with veneers. For the minor dental issues like multi-colored teeth, there is a simple, affordable solution to considered. Porcelain dental veneers are a Minimally invasive procedure that can dramatically improve your smile. 

This kind of veneer — very thin ones — will simply be applied to the surface of the affected tooth for the purpose of covering it. The natural enamel of the tooth is conserved and the actual structure of the tooth is left intact. Any alterations made to the actual tooth will be done only when absolutely necessary.

Below are a few other things you should know about dental veneers:

A good oral hygiene routine is still necessary in maintaining the positive results of the veneers.

Brushing and flossing around the veneers is crucial in ensuring that the improved appearance and condition of the tooth are maintained for the long term. This helps prevent the development of gum disease and other possible complications.

Dental veneers are smooth.

Because they are polished and made to match your other teeth, your new veneers will feel comfortable, just like natural teeth.

Sensitivity won’t be an issue.

Patients concerned about experiencing sensitivity can have greater peace of mind when they decide to get these veneers. Since the original enamel will not be removed, it is unlikely that the tooth and gums will feel sensitivity after the veneers are bonded to the teeth.

Veneers will help get the tooth’s shape and size right.

Having veneers applied doesn’t mean that the teeth will look bigger or longer. The procedure will include sufficient reshaping so that the person’s smile can be optimally improved.

Consult your dentist in silver spring, MD today to find out if minimally invasive dental veneers are ideal for you.